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Problems with Initiative 522

1:47 pm October 28th, 2013

While I would like to see simple GMO labeling on food products, Initiative 522 is a badly written measure. For example, the measure provides that its requirements are to be implemented and enforced by the state Department of Health instead of the state Department of Agriculture, and would authorize the Department of Health to assess a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per day for each violation. Anything to do with our food supply should stay with the Department of Agriculture, not add employees to the Department of Health to police this, which it would have to do.
It also states that separately, after giving 60 days notice, any private person could bring an action in Superior Court to enjoin a person violating the measure, and potentially recover coasts and attorney fees for the action. All we need is a blatant excuse for unscrupulous individuals to find a unscrupulous attorney to bring actions and collect mega bucks for both the individual and the attorney.
I have decided to vote no on I-522.
Claudia Branham
Graham

5 Responses to Problems with Initiative 522

  1. agstr Reply

    October 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Corporate conglomerate interests are pulling no punches to defeat this common sense law. I522 needs to be passed, simply because our rights as citizens to know what we are consuming transcends profit motives.

    Unscrupulous interests are indeed trying to subvert this initiative and have spent record amounts of money and started a glossy disinformation campaign to defeat it. In police work it’s a clue; follow the money. It’s the same replay of tactics used in other battleground states such as California. There have been too many questions raised in the scientific community. GMO criticism has been muzzled and is a caveat not to have unverified confidence in the commercial safety of these products.

    Where legitimate doubt over policy is concerned, a foundational tenant of just rule of law must protect those facing harm (even potentially.) Many industrialized nations in the West, where objectively funded science is conducted, realize the dangerous consequences of this inadequately researched, applied science and have outlawed GMOs, to the consternation of global agricultural conglomerates.

    The same companies touting GMOs were responsible for selling poisonous synthetic pesticides as safe and beneficial (agent orange is a well-known classic example), these same toxins which are now banned and primarily used only in third world countries where enforcement is lax or non-existent, to the detriment of local sustainable agronomy.

    Attempts to own the genetic basis for food production are immoral. Don’t let these tactics destroy the real American farmer or put us on the path to the status of a banana republic, where sovereignty and citizen rights to maintain stewardship of the land become meaningless.

  2. agstr Reply

    October 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Agent orange is actually an herbicide – my apologies.

  3. agstr Reply

    October 28, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    (Dear editor, This is a more readable response)

    Corporate conglomerate interests are pulling no punches to defeat this common sense law. I522 needs to be passed, simply because our rights as citizens to know what we are consuming transcends profit motives.

    Unscrupulous interests are indeed trying to subvert this initiative and have spent record amounts of money in starting a glossy disinformation campaign to defeat it. In police work it’s a clue; follow the money. It’s the same replay of tactics used in other battleground states such as California. There have been too many unanswered questions raised in the scientific community. GMO criticism has been muzzled by corporate interests. This is a caveat for the consumer — unverified confidence in the commercial safety of these products is unwise.

    Where legitimate doubt over policy is concerned, a foundational tenant for the rule of law must protect those facing harm (even potential harm.) Many industrialized nations in the West, wherever objectively funded science is conducted, realize the dangerous consequences of this inadequately researched, applied science. GMOs there have been outlawed, despite underhanded practices of global agricultural conglomerates.

    Many of these same companies touting GMOs were responsible for marketing poisonous synthetic herbicides as safe and beneficial (agent orange is a well-known classic example that killed many US servicemen and local nationals), these same toxins which are now banned and primarily found only in third world countries, where enforcement is lax or non-existent to the detriment of local sustainable agronomy.

    Attempting to own the genetic basis for food production is immoral. Don’t let these tactics destroy the real American farmer or put us on the path that transforms this country into a banana republic, where sovereignty and citizen rights to maintain stewardship of the land become meaningless.

    Respectfully submitted

  4. Florence Vincent Reply

    October 29, 2013 at 8:18 am

    The reason the Department of Health is in charge is because in WA State, they are in charge of labeling food!

    The initiative is very lenient on time to get labels done and works to help rather than penalize. There would be no fine at first, just the timeframe to get the labels in place.

  5. Florence Vincent Reply

    October 29, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Claudia, there is no place in the law for frivolous lawsuits. It is particularly forbidden in the initiative.

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